Project “Greta Thunberg” Deflated Before It Could Take Off

We have seen a sharp decline in the effectiveness of the phenomenon of propaganda – at least as it has existed in recent decades. People have learned to distinguish between real self-sacrifice and the imitation of a feat.

Laughter and laughter, and after all the project “Greta Thunberg” did not take off – now it became finally clear.

No, from a formal point of view, everything is fine. Close media attention, speeches at the most prestigious platforms (including the UN General Assembly) and the status of “person of the year” according to Time magazine… Given how influential people are behind a 16-year-old Swedish girl and how impressive resources – both financial, media, and other – they possess, there is nothing to be surprised by.

But this is only preparation for the main thing: Greta’s transformation into a real instrument of influence, which can be used to solve specific and very serious problems in the international arena. But there were just problems with this – and, it seems, they’re insurmountable.

When the active media pumping of Miss Thunberg started in the world, there were many publications in the Russian media (among them were mine) about how dangerous the phenomenon of this girl could be. Behind-the-scenes puppeteers of world politics have chosen the perfect material as their puppet: a young girl – with an impeccable biography (due to the absence of one), a true believer in what she says, and with a number of extremely trendy diagnoses, which make unacceptable any attacks on her (at least in the politically correct West).

However, what is the result?

The efforts made did not help, and Greta increasingly turns into an object of barely covered ridicule. Almost all world leaders, including Putin, Trump, Merkel, and Macron, have walked through it in one way or another. And the recent poisonous tweet by German railways, which exposed the hypocrisy of the environmental activist, is indicative precisely of the fact that it fully fits into a distinct and increasingly dominant socio-political trend.

Greta will not become the ecological Joan of Arc, no matter how much it is wanted by the people behind her. And the actual failure of such a large-scale and very professionally prepared project makes it possible to say that it is about much more than just a single PR failure.

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In fact, we have seen a sharp decline in the effectiveness of the phenomenon of propaganda – at least as it has existed in recent decades.

For more than a century, humanity – at least the most developed part of it – has been subjected to intense media manipulation. Before our eyes, this phenomenon has reached its peak – and now its downwards movement has begun. And most of all, this process affects the West and the ideology of liberal political correctness, which have reached the highest heights in this.

There are many reasons for this.

Firstly, it would be strange if people did not have a semblance of immunity against public opinion management tools in a hundred years.

Secondly, globalism (first and foremost precisely this) has successfully achieved its goal of splitting Western society into as small social factions and strata as possible.

The idea was initially extremely witty and even elegant, because the higher the level of solidarity in society, the more dangerous this situation is for the system in case of some internal crisis – there is a greater chance of not coping with serious public dissatisfaction. The origins of such anxiety are still in the fear of the revolutions of the 18th-20th centuries. Hence the active fragmentation of society and the driving of wedges between diverse social groups, where each individual becomes a member of the aggrieved minority, whether racial, gender, or otherwise.

This really simplifies the manipulation of society, in any case, with regard to the prevention and suppression of mass movements dangerous to the system. Only the reverse of the phenomenon is that it is now much more difficult for the “crashers” to achieve social consolidation even on the issues they need.

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Thirdly, it is worth highlighting such a problem of modern propaganda as the shortage of heroes whose names and images can be used to promote the necessary ideas. And here we go back to the girl Greta.

Mankind has lived all its history on the examples of real people. The famous maxim “the tree of freedom needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” is fully true. Among those whose names are mentioned in history textbooks were heroes and villains, despots and liberators, stands, martyrs, freethinkers, and revolutionaries, but there was something in common between them all: they put their lives – and those of others – on the altar of what they believed, and in fact paid very dearly for their faith.

The latest progressive ideological developments with such role models have a serious deficit. And it is no accident that the analysis of any political veil now immediately starts to discuss the inevitable sacral sacrifice. Only there is a fundamental difference between a person who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time (and this, in fact, is the definition of a sacred sacrifice), and a person who absolutely consciously gave their life for a highest cause. And people are perfectly able to distinguish from one from the other – even at an intuitive level, and the former can never be compared in terms of the power of influence on minds with the latter.

It was no coincidence that Euromaidan needed a whole “heavenly hundred“. In Ukraine, as usual, any idea is brought to the absurd, as a result of which it turns into a parody of itself.

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And all the more so, most modern carbonari with complaints have no desire to place themselves on the chopping block for the sake of their ideas. They are increasingly specialising on trips in first class and the structure of children at elite universities “on a budget”.

By the way, conservative propaganda also has problems, but expressed by an order of magnitude less – both because the carriers of conservative beliefs cling to their identity, not allowing it to be eroded by sharp-fashion innovations, and because there is still no shortage of real heroes. People, like thousands of years ago, are ready to give their lives for such fundamental things as the Motherland, family, honour, and duty. And they do it regularly.

By the way, this is the root of the reason why the domestic opposition has no chance against the government. Russian oppositionists are flesh of flesh of the most modern and progressive ideological tendencies – with their fragmentation and media-designed heroes, and the most heartfelt speech in the trial of Egor Zhukov is not worth a penny against the short “Eto vam za patsanov” of Major Filipov.

Irina Alksnis

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